SUMMER SCHOOL 2021
This year’s summer school was dual focus, with clear aims to support academic development and emotional wellbeing in a safe and inclusive environment. This is key to addressing the negative impact of the pandemic on children. Our Circus themed week had 178 students in attendance from 9am to 3:15pm, from 26th to 30th of July.
Whilst planning provision, staff worked effectively with primary school staff to identify pupils most in need of academic and emotional support, ensuring a clear communication strategy was in place. A focused progamme was built to bridge the disparity in core academic skills and develop student confidence in key aspects of the transition to KS3. Creating a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment was our primary ambition in addressing the negative impact of the pandemic on children.
Students were organsied into 12 groups of 15, with registers organised into Y7 tutor groups to familiarise students with their peers. To ensure students felt supported pastorally and create a familiar routine, each morning started with a form-based activity with online input by the Head of Year 7. As many children have missed valuable preparation for secondary education, experiencing isolation and mental health issues during lockdown, our pastoral provision was presented in detail, including an introduction to our school councillor. A six session, five-day schedule, including daily formal Maths and English tuition was offered, led by subject specialist staff to address the disparity in core academic skills. A range of exciting enrichment activities were provided with sessions in Art, Dance, Cookery, Science and PE led by departmental teachers. In addition, external professionals from Circus Central provided skills workshops, exploring teambuilding exercises and circus apparatus and choreography. Sixth form students were a welcome addition to groups, supporting learning, social interaction and answering any minor questions or concerns.
Government funding has provided the opportunity to invest in long term resources such as a year group set of Y7 reading books, which will be utilised next year during tutor time to support literacy. We were also able to fund all break and lunchtime catering for the week. This supported attendance and the wellbeing our most disadvantaged students and families at a time where this has never been more crucial. In addition to the literacy resources we also invested in a photographer so that images could be taken and used for promotional purposes as well as creating a display for Year 7.
To mark the end of the week and year with a celebratory close, an online author talk from Sinead O’Hart was organised. Each child was given a signed copy of her latest book ‘Skyborn’. Our PE department then organised an interform rounders afternoon. The final session of the week included pastoral input from HoP and DHoP and also a short film which showing images and footage recorded over the course of the week.
For a copy of the Summer School claim form submitted to the DfE please see the document below.